Transformational Times

Words of Hope, Character & Resilience from our Virtual Community

Friday, January 27, 2023

In This Issue:

Guest Director's Corner


Poetry Corner

  • Snow Day, by Billy Collins

Upcoming Events/Announcements

LinkedIn Share via LinkedIn
Add me to the T. Times mailing list

Guest Director's Corner

A Story about Maryan

By Cassie Ferguson, MD

The most rewarding mentoring relationship I’ve had with a medical student began the day she came to see me in my office to tell me about her experiences on academic leave. Maryam* had heard that I started a task force to learn about our school’s remediation process and wanted to share her story with me. I now know her to be a fierce, determined daughter of immigrants, but that day in my office she sat hesitantly on the very edge of her chair, backpack on, and glanced frequently at the door, as if she hadn’t yet decided to stay. Her voice was flat, and she rarely made eye contact when she spoke. She told me that after failing a course by less than a percentage point, she was asked to take an academic leave of absence before her first year ended. She might be able to come back, she was told, in the fall and repeat her entire first year. What she was not told was that when she drove to school the day after her leave began, her student ID would not work, and she would not be let into the school’s parking lot.

“They just threw me away,” she said.

Continue Reading


Reflecting the change you want to see - the importance of involvement in equity and inclusion


By Michael Stout, Ed.D.

The importance of diversity and equity in our organization is demonstrated by our values. But how we invest our time is where real change is cultivated…

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion goals are often easier to design than they are to achieve. We value their importance, yet gaps persist. These issues were seldom mentioned when I first entered graduate school. More recently, I would be hard-pressed to find a college leader who does not support DEI initiatives. It appears we renewed interest and enthusiasm for addressing gaps and inequality wherever they exist, including our college campuses. Creating a thriving community built on principles of respect and inclusion remains an institutional priority, but how can we make it imperative? The benefits of participation in DEI initiatives can extend beyond individual growth and development and promote positive change beyond our role.

Continue Reading


Track A: Loneliness and Belonging



By Corey Briska, M1

It was yesterday. No, it was five years ago. I cannot help but process these things inappropriately. At the time, I was lonely. Lonelier than I have ever been. Listening to him speak was a nightmare. He would always drone on about finding your passion, looking good to others, but I couldn’t listen. I could never listen. And that was my problem. When my mind wandered, I would become forever lost in my dreams. Idealism not pragmatism.

Continue Reading


Bearing Witness to Pain


By Meghan Schilthuis, M3

Meghan Schilthuis, a third-year medical student at the MCW Milwaukee campus, shares an impactful patient encounter from her first clinical rotation…

I began my M3 year this past June on my pediatrics rotation, excited to convert knowledge gained from many hours spent studying for the USMLE Step 1 into “the real world” of patient care. I spent my first two weeks in outpatient clinics and had a lot of fun interacting with relatively healthy kids. I wasn’t sure what to expect as I moved to the inpatient portion of the rotation and began a week of night float at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.

Continue Reading


Take Three: Rediscovering our Shared Humanity


By Nate Verhagen, M2

Transformational Times: What is one thing that you hope for when you think about 2023? Why?

As we look back on 2022, it's hard to ignore the conflicts that have occurred - from Russia's invasion of Ukraine to the growing tensions between the US and China, as well as rising tensions domestically. We find ourselves forgetting the humanity that unites us all together. I have sensed my own humanity becoming increasingly lost in a virtual world where deceptive screens can whittle the beauty and uniqueness of others to mere profile pictures.

Continue Reading
LinkedIn Share via LinkedIn
KI Medical Education Matters Podcast
KI MedEd Blog
Past Issues
Contact Us
Kern Bookstore

Snow Day

By Billy Collins

Today we woke up to a revolution of snow,   

its white flag waving over everything,

the landscape vanished,

not a single mouse to punctuate the blankness,   

and beyond these windows

the government buildings smothered,

schools and libraries buried, the post office lost   

under the noiseless drift,

the paths of trains softly blocked,

the world fallen under this falling.

In a while, I will put on some boots

and step out like someone walking in water,   

and the dog will porpoise through the drifts,   

and I will shake a laden branch

sending a cold shower down on us both.

But for now I am a willing prisoner in this house,   

a sympathizer with the anarchic cause of snow.   

I will make a pot of tea

and listen to the plastic radio on the counter,   

as glad as anyone to hear the news

that the Kiddie Corner School is closed,   

the Ding-Dong School, closed.

the All Aboard Children’s School, closed,   

the Hi-Ho Nursery School, closed,

along with—some will be delighted to hear—

the Toadstool School, the Little School,

Little Sparrows Nursery School,

Little Stars Pre-School, Peas-and-Carrots Day School   

the Tom Thumb Child Center, all closed,

and—clap your hands—the Peanuts Play School.

So this is where the children hide all day,

These are the nests where they letter and draw,   

where they put on their bright miniature jackets,   

all darting and climbing and sliding,

all but the few girls whispering by the fence.

And now I am listening hard

in the grandiose silence of the snow,

trying to hear what those three girls are plotting,   

what riot is afoot,

which small queen is about to be brought down.

Submit a Poem for Next Week

Have a response to this week’s or a past issue, an idea for an article, or an event you would like the TT to promote - please let us know!

Contact Us

Join a campus-wide educators’ community read of Thanks for the Feedback, by Douglas Stone & Sheila Heen 

As a key component of the new MCWfusion Curriculum set to launch in July 2023, we will discuss strategies for preparing for, seeking, understanding, and applying feedback – and consider how we might help our students develop these skills as part of their personal and professional development. This book is full of practical tips that we can also adapt in our own practices of giving and receiving feedback. 

As we understand how busy everyone is, we plan to offer several different ways to interact as a community in book discussions – including asynchronous/online discussions, virtual sessions, and shared reflective writing. Everyone who signs up for this will receive invitations to participate using all methods. While these are not mandatory, we hope that the output of these community discussions will enhance our shared understanding of the topic and lead to enhancement of our MCW learning environments. 

We have many print copies of the book available to use throughout the Spring 2023 semester – though we will ask all of you who receive a book from us to gift it back to an incoming MCWfusion student with a message welcoming them to our community in July 2023, so they can begin their work to develop this skill. Please complete this Qualtrics survey if you are interested in participating and would like a book supplied to you. 

The read is also available on Audible if you’d like to purchase the audio version on your own. Here is a sneak peek as found on Amazon.

Please contact Marty Muntz with any questions.

Read Request for Proposals

Please Join Us!

Kern Institute Grand Rounds: The Four Pillars of Well-being: A Scientific Framework for the Cultivation of Human Flourishing

Can mental training actively influence our level of well-being? Research suggests that even small amounts of meditation can lead to important outcomes for our mental and physical health, as well as our success at work and in relationships. In this live talk, Cortland Dahl will share a groundbreaking scientific model that highlights four pillars of well-being — awareness, connection, insight, and purpose — as well as practical strategies for applying them in daily life. Check out Dr. Courtland's course The Art and Science of Human Flourishing and recent article "The plasticity of well-being: A training-based framework for the cultivation of human flourishing".

 February 9, 2023

9:00 AM - 10:00 AM

Hybrid Event: Join via Zoom or in Person

MEB – M1540 - Kerrigan Auditorium

Register Here

Please Join Us!

Kern Institute Connection Cafe: Diagnostic Dilemma – A Case-Based Exercise

Gurpreet Dhaliwal, MD is a clinician-educator and Professor of Medicine at the University of California San Francisco. He sees patients and teaches medical students and residents in the emergency department, inpatient wards, and outpatient clinic at the San Francisco VA Medical Center, where he directs the internal medicine clerkship.

In this session, Dr. Dhaliwal will be presented with an unknown case, which he will analyze in real-time with a focus on reasoning and communication with a multidisciplinary team.

February 24, 2023

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Hybrid Event: Join via Zoom or in Person

MEB – M1540 - Kerrigan Auditorium

Register Here

Please Join Us!

Kern Institute Connection Cafe: Growth Mindset in a Fixed Mindset Culture

Despite growth mindset’s benefits to learning and well-being, curricula and learning environments espousing the fixed mindset continue to dominate. Participants will learn about the benefits of growth mindset and resistance to its implementation from both a practical and philosophic perspective. 

Dr. James N. Woodruff is the Dean of Students for the Pritzker School of Medicine at the University of Chicago. In this role, he supports medical students in their professional development, specialty selection and residency application. A graduate of the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, Dr. Woodruff completed his internal medicine residency and chief residency in the department of medicine at the University of Chicago. His 8-year tenure as director of the internal medicine residency program and 6-year tenure as the Department of Medicine’s vice chair for education provide him with broad perspective on the medical training pathway 

March 2, 2023

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Hybrid Event: Join via Zoom or in Person

HUB - A5520/A5628

Register Here

Developing Medical Educators of the 21st Century

Join us for the 5th Developing Medical Educators of the 21st Century course in San Francisco! We are back with an in-person course, focused on supporting medical educators to engage in transformational change during challenging times. How do we create equitable, inclusive and welcoming learning environments for all?  How do we foster a growth mindset among our learners so they become effective life-long learners? How do we ensure the wellbeing of our learners while also maintaining our own? These and other topics will be addressed in a variety of formats, including plenary sessions by renowned educators, skill-building workshops, consultations with experts, and engaging lunch-time discussions. Participants will have opportunities to network with others and create actionable plans to take home to their own institutions. A group discount will be available for teams from one institution. 


This 3-day intensive course, organized in collaboration with the Kern National Network for Caring and Character in Medicine, targets medical educators from undergraduate and graduate medical education seeking to develop or improve skills in teaching and educational program design. Flexible programming allows participants to select sessions aligned with their interest and experience level. 

February 13-15, 2023

Golden Gateway Holiday Inn, San Francisco

Register Here

MedMoth Storytelling Workshop


Featuring Milwaukee’s Ex Fabula, an organization that builds community through storytelling, this workshop will include low-pressure, interactive activities led by experienced storytelling coaches. Be part of this great opportunity to increase your confidence and craft your own story to share at the spring MedMoth event.

February 23, 2023

6:00-8:00 pm

HUB A1015/A1035

Register Here

Join us for a live storytelling event with MCW Students, Residents, Fellows, Faculty, & Staff

Come share your own story or listen to other narratives and celebrate the commonality of the human experience! Register to be a Storyteller below!


Please join us on Thursday, March 23 at 6:30 p.m. for MedMoth: A Storytelling Reflection on Medicine. The event will be hosted in person in MCW's Alumni Center.


Listen to stories by faculty, staff, residents, fellows, and students as they share their own true experiences in the world of medicine. Inspired by The Moth, this event will entail authentic storytelling and will be an enlightening audience experience that you won't want to miss.

March 23, 2023

6:30 pm

MCW Alumni Center

Register to be a Storyteller at MedMoth
Register to Attend MedMoth

IWill 3.0 Will Begin in March 2023

AWSM is excited to kick off IWill 3.0 in March 2023 as we host the AWSM Women's History Month Symposium. Our event includes our three speakers as well as a research poster presentation with awards! Learn more about submitting your poster abstract to our scientific session!

Read the January 5 Issue Here
The Transformational Times publishes weekly, delivering stories of hope, character and resilience to our virtual community.

Jeff Fritz, PhDEditor-in-Chief

Editorial Board: Bruce Campbell, MDKathlyn Fletcher, MD, Adina Kalet, MD, Wendy Peltier, Karen Herzog, Justine Espisito, Nabil Attlassy, Julia Bosco, Ana Istrate, Wolf Pulsiano, Eileen Peterson,  Anna Visser, James Wu & Emelyn Zaworski

Not getting our newsletters? Sign-up today!
Mailing List Sign-up
Facebook  Twitter  Linkedin  Instagram  

Reproductive system vector created by pikisuperstar -